Not all Chinese restaurants serve roast Peking Duck. Among the ones that do, the quality of the Peking Duck varies. The best Peking Duck I ever tasted was at a restaurant called Peacock in Makati. My father used to bring me there but I have no idea if the establishment still exists.
A few days ago, to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 82nd birthday, we had dinner at Causeway Seafood Restaurant, one of the Chinese restaurants where we don’t have any complaints about the quality of the food. My sister-in-law ordered Peking roasted duck and there was a discussion about how the duck would be served — two-way or three-way?
When ordering Peking duck, having it served “two-way” means the skin will be carved and served with Chinese pancakes, slivered spring onions and hoisin sauce (above); the meat will be cooked as a main dish.
At Causeway, that would be the salt-and-pepper duck. But soup made from chopped duck bones are just so wonderful so I suggested having it served three-way.
A Peking Duck served “three-way” means the skin will be carved and served with Chinese pancakes, the carcass will be chopped and cooked as a soup (above) and the meat served as a third dish. At Causeway, that was the diced duck meat served with iceberg lettuce (below). You take a piece of lettuce, place a tablespoonful or two of the duck meat at the center, roll up the lettuce and eat it burrito style.
While “three-way” always includes the soup and the appetizer of skin-and-Chinese-pancakes, the third dish varies in different restaurants. At Peacock, for instance, the meat was stir fried with Chinese broccoli.
So, when you order Peking roasted duck in a Chinese restaurant, it pays to know your options. Otherwise, some sleazy establishment might serve the skin with Chinese pancakes then take the rest of the duck away.